Mini Reviews

Book review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies (2014) is a novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty. The book is actually set in Sydney, in a scenic beachside town called ‘Perriwee Peninsula’. The story centres on Perriwee Primary School and its community of children, teachers and parents. The school has an ocean view. Despite the affluent, idyllic and sunny environment there is a disquieting undercurrent with people…

Review: Hastings Pier

Hastings, a seaside town on the Sussex coastline, has a newly restored pier, adding to its many tourist attractions (including a pebble beach and Hastings Castle dating back to the time of William the Conqueror). What’s more, this new structure has been voted 'Pier of the Year 2017' by the National Pier Society.

From far away it might not seem particularly noteworthy. Once you reach the…

Documentary review: Angry Inuk

Set in the remote hamlet of Kimmirut, Canada, in the icy Arctic Circle, the film Angry Inuk (2016) looks at the lives of the Inuit people, following the trade ban on harp seal skin products (campaigned for by animal rights activists in 1987).

The film controversially opposes this ban because its had a negative effect on the Inuit's livelihood. The documentary is part of the Origins Festival…

Birkbeck Arts Week 2017 - Landscape and Power

Those of us who signed up to the Landscape and Power lecture during Birkbeck Arts Week 2017 would have seen an arresting image posted on the event flyer. In the talk in Room B03 of 43 Gordon Square we learn that this image is computer generated.


It is of a proposed memorial, entitled ‘Memory Wound’, to the victims…

The Tall Ships at Greenwich

The tall ships have come and gone.  For two days they moored at Greenwich and Woolwich and on Easter Sunday they sailed away to Portugal, bound for Boston and then Quebec.  While on the Thames they ferried the public up and down while fed us cakes and tea, took us to watch river fireworks, and gave us short explanatory tours.  


The ships last came to London in 2014 and are due…

We studied journalism at Birkbeck and meet regularly to share our writing and ideas. Inspired by London’s 4th Plinth we set up our blog as a cultural exchange with reviews, stories, analysis and viewpoints.

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The 5th Plinthers

Review of The Village - shown at the 4th Georgian Film Festival in London

The Village is a moving film about life and traditions in a small Georgian village in the Caucasus mountains. Staring Crystal Bennett as Amy and Tornika Bziava as Nika. Shown in the UK as part of the 2015 Georgian Film Festival.

"You don't get this at the RSC!" Review of The Tempest at The Etcetera Theatre as part of The Camden Fringe.

A gloriously comic, all-female version of The Tempest by Get Over It Productions.

A Lens on Syria at the Imperial War Museum

A Lens on Syria at the Imperial War Museum, London



Many voices in the media, government, and religious communities, have tried to comment on the devastating events in Manchester and at London Bridge. The horror that’s been felt has evoked language which is passsionate and intense but sometimes also sensational and histrionic.  The result has at times been hackneyed…

Book review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Hurtling along, 'the Underground Railroad' is a novel by African American writer Colson Whitehead. The underground railroad is a metaphor for a secret network involving safe houses carrying slaves from the South to the Free States. Whitehead takes this idea to another level here. His book features a subterranean tunnel, like the tube, through which people are taken to safety on a steam locomotive.


Film review: Captain Fantastic Directed by Matt Ross, 2016

Written and directed by Matt Ross, Captain Fantastic gives us Ben Cash, living off grid in the backwoods with his six intellectually precocious children. Raised to reject religion and the average American and his way of life, but worshiping at the altar of Noam Chomsky, the family might well have been portrayed as romantic lick the earth types, but the story opens with Lord of the Flies savagery as the little Chomskyites hunt, kill and butcher a deer.

Open letter to tinnitus

Dear Tinnitus

I know you will be surprised to be addressed full on, as it were, when I spend so much time ignoring you.  But I felt, for once, like charting our relationship.

I caught you from my friend Harriet.  When you first arrived in her head she became very distressed.  She told me you were ruining her life and depriving her of all feelings of well being.  Particularly she…